The Leader of the House of Commons has visited Peterhead for a tour of the £49million harbour redevelopment and talks with fishing industry leaders on the future of the sector post-Brexit.
Andrea Leadsom was welcomed to the Buchan port by Scottish Conservative MP for Banff and Buchan David Duguid and north-east MSP Peter Chapman.
The MP for South Northamptonshire was given a guided tour of the harbour and the new fish market by Peterhead Port Authority board member Jim Buchan.
The politicians then held talks with fishing industry representatives including Jimmy Buchan, from the Grampian Seafood Association, and Bertie Armstrong from the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation.
Ms Leadsom said: "I was delighted to come to Peterhead and see the impressive work on the harbour redevelopment project.
"As we prepare to leave the EU, there are huge opportunities for our fishing industry to grow.
"Peterhead is the already the biggest white fish port in the UK and one of the largest in Europe. The new, expanded fish market here will mean the port is well placed to capitalise on the likely increase in catch post-Brexit.
"I was also interested to hear that this £49m investment will allow the port to bring in more work in the growing renewable energy and decommissioning markets. This is good news for the local economy here in the north-east and also the wider Scottish economy."
Mr Duguid said: “It was a pleasure to welcome the Leader of the House of Commons to Peterhead today.
“I have spoken many times in the chamber about the importance of the fishing industry to the local economy here in Banff and Buchan and the huge opportunities afforded by Brexit.
“During the visit, we sat down with key players in the Scottish fishing industry, who made clear once again the importance of striking the right deal as we leave the EU.
“The crucial thing is that from the end of the transition period in 2020, we have control over our own waters. At present, only 40% of fish caught in our waters are landed by UK boats. That must change and our fishermen deserve a fairer share.”
Mr Chapman added: “This £49million project to revamp Peterhead harbour is really taking shape, with the new fish market already up and running.
“After we leave the EU, we have the potential to greatly increase the level of landings in UK ports.
“That means we need the onshore infrastructure to cope – both in terms of landing and processing facilities.
“The investment in Peterhead also opens up new business opportunities in areas like renewables, decommissioning and tourism through cruise ships docking at the port.”